Cefalù Cathedral
the church hall

Biblical themes enlivened by the dazzling light of the stained – glass windows overlooking the naves

In every corner of the Temple, we bear witness to an intimate dialogue between religion and architecture pervaded by alternating colours that blend together, giving only an apparent sense of homogeneity.
The stained-glass windows made in the early 1990s by the Palermo artist Michele Canzoneri , capture our attention, sending us back in time with the narration of biblical themes . Artistically decorated transparent panels were inserted in the splayed single-lancet windows of the naves and in the large window of the façade. Consisting of a combination of various forms of blown glass, in turn enriched with acrylic pigments, they replaced the previous non-valuable fixtures, from ancient lead sheets to more recent ones made of wooden material. Looking up from the aisles is a mystical path, which elevates us towards an intimate link with the Word of God. It begins with the fourteen pointed windows overlooking the central nave, with seven windows on each side, symbolically referring to the days of the Creation. The theme presented in the side aisles is echoed in the rich and vibrant narrative rhythm of the nine representations on each of the single-lancet windows on the walls. The Cathedral, which had remained unfinished over the centuries, was brought back to life with atmospheres typical of medieval construction sites, during the major restoration project opened in the 1980s.

The stone bible

A controversial interpretation

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

The chapel of St. Benedict

The balance between architecture and light

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The columns of the nave: the meticulous study of the overall order

The cultural substrate through time

The mosaics of the apses

A tree full of life

A new Cathedral

Palermo: the happiest city

The senses tell Context 1

Roger II’s strategic design

The architectural modifications ti the cathedral building after the death of Roger II and the transformations of the cloister

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

Transformations over the centuries

The Virgin Hodegetria

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

Biblical themes enlivened by the dazzling light of the stained – glass windows overlooking the naves

A space between the visible and the invisible

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Under the crosses of the Bema

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

Mosaic decoration

A compositional design that combines nordic examples with new artistic languages, over the centuries

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

Ecclesia munita

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

From the main gate to the aisles: an invitation to a journey of faith

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The marble portal: an intimate dialogue between complex ornamental aspects and formal structure

A palimpsest of history

The Chapel of the Kings

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The chapel of the crucifix: an artistic casket based on a previous model

Worship services

The links between the hauteville family and the monastic orders in Sicily

The Gualtiero Cathedral

A remarkable ceiling

Squaring the circle

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The Cefalù cathedral: a construction yard undergoing a change between a surge of faith and control over the territory

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The beginning of the construction site

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The side aisles

Tempus fugit: a strategic project implemented in a short period of time

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

Thirteenth-century iconography decorates the nave’s wooden ceiling, designed with new solutions

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The towers and the western facade

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The southern portico

The Cathedral over the centuries

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

A Northern population

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The plasticism of the main portico and Bonanno Pisano’s Monumental Bronze Door

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The cemetery of kings

The longest aisle

The lost chapel

The Great Restoration

The paradisiacal “Conca d’oro” that embraces Palermo: a name with countless faces through time

The area of the Sanctuary

The original design

The king’s mark

The decorated facade

Survey of the royal tombs

Interior decorations

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The rediscovered chapel

The side Portico: a combination of elegance and lightness of form

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The Bible carved in stone

The mosaics of the presbytery